PORT CANAVERAL – Disney Cruise Line invited celebrities from ABC’s hit “Dancing with the Stars” show and some Disney Family Channel stars to cruise on the inaugural voyage of the Disney Dream. Everyone was eager to try the new Aqua Duck water coaster, which had lines throughout the voyage. Check out this video showing the world’s only coaster at sea below and read on for some interesting facts about the new ship.
The Aqua Duck water coaster evolved from the idea of having a “lazy river” experience on the perimeter of the main “sundeck.” The Imagineers opted for an elevated experience in order to maximize space on the deck. Once they started thinking vertically, they realized a water coaster was a possibility.
The Disney Dream’s horn, a prominent element of the “Sailing Away” deck party at the start of the cruise, is quite the musical talent. It’s able to perform not just the first musical line of “When You Wish Upon a Star” but also the second line of the song (“makes no difference who you are”), plus several measures of “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” “It’s a Small World,” “Be Our Guest,” “Hi Diddle Dee Dee (An Actor’s Life for Me)” and – most appropriately – “A Dream is a Wish.”
The Sorcerer Mickey Mouse on the Dream’s stern is about 14 feet long. Constructed of stainless steel and fiberglass, it weighs approximately 2,500 pounds. The “ornament” was sculpted at Walt Disney Imagineering in California, structurally designed by engineers at Disney Cruise Line and Meyer Werft in Germany, manufactured in Sarasota, Fla., finish-painted in Orlando, and then transported by ship to Germany for final installation on the Disney Dream. From sculpture to the stern of Disney Dream was a journey of about 15,000 miles for Mickey Mouse.
Inside the ship, Disney has two huge theaters dedicated to entertainment. Among the leading-edge technical effects in the Walt Disney Theatre, which is where Broadway-quality musicals are performed, is an infrared camera with motion tracking. This allows the movement of performers to be blended with projected digital animated effects in shows like “Dreams.”
Looking upward in the ship’s atrium lobby brings guests eye-to-crystal with a glowing piece of “art deco jewelry” – a stunning chandelier sparkling with thousands of crystal beads and glowing with colorful glasswork. Crafted in Brixen, located in Northern Italy, the chandelier is 22 feet diameter at the ceiling plate and comes down 13 feet from the ceiling. It is 24kt gold plated with a total of 88,680 Swarovski crystal beads ranging in size from 6mm to 12mm.
The atrium lobby of Disney Dream also can be a showplace. Normally hidden by friezes and other architectural adornments are the lighting and audio necessary for a Dream deck party – making the lobby “plan B” if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with the onboard schedule of fun.
A “light point” is shipbuilders’ lingo for “anything that’s a light.” There are approximately 80,000 light points on Disney Dream – “double the normal number for a ship this size,” according to Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Germany where Disney Dream was built. The large number is the result of Disney’s flare for theatrical experiences – accomplished primarily with LEDs and other “environmentally friendly” lighting.
Disney Dream guests can celebrate special occasions with a one-of-a-kind toast in The District at Pink, a nightspot dedicated to “bubbly.” French champagne-maker Taittinger has crafted a “pink” just for Pink – Taittinger Prestige Rose will be the signature sparkling.
Two huge mosaic walls based on the Disney•Pixar animated feature Finding Nemo are showcased in Cabanas casual-dining restaurant on Deck 11. Created for Disney Dream by Italian artists, each wall is more than 25 feet wide and more than 8 feet high and contains approximately 194,500 tiles in 200 colors of hand-crafted Venetian enamel. A team of nine artists created the mosaics based on Pixar designs depicting the underwater world of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and characters featured in the motion picture.
Guests can settle into luxurious comfort in staterooms and suites featuring plush bath towels and deluxe bed linens by Frette, a company that has been supplying fine linens for “many of Europe’s most prestigious cruise liners” since 1911. Founded in 1860 in Grenoble, France, and now headquartered in Milan, Italy, Frette created custom-design bath towels and bed linens for the Disney Dream with what is regarded as the world’s finest cotton, from El Amria in Egypt. The bed linens are 100% Egyptian cotton 300 thread count while the bath towels are 100% Egyptian cotton. Elsewhere on Disney Dream, the two adult-exclusive restaurants, Palo and Remy, use all Frette dining linens.
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About the Author
John Gaudiosi has been covering videogames for the past 20 years for outlets like The Washington Post, CNET, Wired Magazine and CBS.com. He has focused on the convergence of entertainment and videogames for outlets like Video Business, Home Media Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Gamerlive.TV and is also a freelance game columnist for Reuters and writes for outlets like Forbes.com, NVISION, Official PlayStation Magazine, EGM Now, Geek Monthly, PrimaGames.com, and Yahoo! Games. John also serves as the video game expert for NBC in Washington D.C. and has produced videogame documentaries for The History Channel and Starz Entertainment. John was named one of the Top 50 Game Journalists in the world by Next-Gen.biz in 2007. He is the co-author of Scholastic Books' How to Get into Videogames, Prima Publishing's Madden: Twenty Years of Videogame Football and Electronic Arts: The Official History.